Weapons figure out of step
Young people in Aberdeenshire are almost 10 times more likely to take a weapon to school than their peers from the Highlands. Could this really be true? Common sense would suggest otherwise. Are one council’s officials just 10 times more efficient at sniffing out illicit knives, BB guns and saws then? Probably not. Or another education authority equally ahead when it comes to creating an atmosphere of fear about entering the classroom tooled up? Again, pretty unlikely. The answer most likely lies somewhere in between – and understanding why the north’s figures are so out of step with those of their neighbours is very important. Tougher controls introduced in the aftermath of Bailey Gwynne being stabbed to death in a playground dispute were universally welcomed. What point though in having a “zero tolerance” approach if the definition of “zero” is different depending where you go to school. There are valuable lessons to be learned on all sides. Councils owe it to pupils, parents and to society to make sure they are.